Climate clippings 75

Climate clippings_175

1. The scientific consensus remains solid

Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian has the story. A study led by John Cook of Skeptical Science fame considered the work of some 29,000 scientists published in 11,994 academic papers between 1991 and 2011.

Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change only 0.7% or 83 of those thousands of academic articles, disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, with the view of the remaining 2.2% unclear.

The survey found that the consensus has grown slowly over time, and reached about 98% in 2011.

The study authors tell their story at Skeptical Science and the Guardian’s new blog.

Of the papers which specifically examine the contributors to global warming, they virtually all conclude that humans are the dominant cause over the past 50 to 100 years.

2. Have the climate sceptics nevertheless won?

Both Martin Wolf of the Financial Times and James Hansen say the climate ssceptics have won because of global inaction. But Roger Pielke Jr is definite:

the battle over public opinion on climate change has long been over – it has been won, decisively in fact, by those favoring action.

Countering sceptics with facts doesn’t work. Indeed, he says, “there is reason to believe that the focus of attention by climate campaigners on sceptics actually works against effective action.” (Emphasis added.)

Pielke evokes Walter Lippmann who recognised that:

uniformity of perspective was not necessary for action to take place in democracies. He explained that the goal of politics is not to make everyone think alike, but to help people who think differently to act alike.

The problem is that people think climate action means pain. Martin Wolf calls for “a politically sellable vision of a prosperous low-carbon economy” as a necessary though not sufficient condition.

A necessary condition? Moral minnows!

3. Cultural cognition of inconvenient science

Contra Martin Wolf and Roger Pielke Jr above, I would have thought that whether we took action on climate would have been decided by risk. Denialists and sceptics have to be 100% sure that the scientific consensus is wrong, 100% not 99.9%, otherwise the risks demand that we act. That’s rational.

But, no, it seems political beliefs, values and social pressure determine cognition of science and even assessment of risk.

Pielke cites studies published in 2011 by Dan Kahan of Yale Law School and colleagues. Their study Cultural cognition of scientific consensus is paywalled, but downloadable here. Read the article Culture splits climate views, not science smarts.

The argument is quite complex, but they identify two broad cultural predispositions, the ‘hierarchical individualist’ and the ‘egalitarian communitarian’. Inter alia this is what they found:


I was under the impression that Kahan and co were saying the there is something intrinsic in the ‘hierarchical-individualistic’ cultural predisposition which was more likely to see climate science as divided. Kahan is also emphasising that social pressure is a factor. Increased scientific literacy enables greater rationalisation of previously held beliefs.

They suggest that communicators have to attend to cultural as well as scientific meaning and other techniques outlined in section 5.3 (p32).

They don’t contemplate, however, that one of these value spectrums may be incompatible with a sustainable planet and how one might go about changing they underlying value position.

4. Digging further on cultural cognition vs scientific comprehension

In 2012 Kaplan and co published a further study which is downloadable here. They found that:

as members of the public become more science literate and numerate … individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses.

The results are conveyed graphically thus:

Kahan 2_cropped_580

CCT = cultural cognition thesis and SCT = science comprehension thesis.

I don’t think Kaplan is saying that the ‘egalitarian communitarian’ people are better in responding to scientific evidence. Kaplan’s not taking a position on who is right. It just happens that the ‘hierarchical individualist’ mob are substantively wrong.

They don’t examine whether there is a critical point in scientific understanding, where the cherry picking stops and true understanding takes over. In any case their studies do show us as not being particularly rational in decision making.

This is a bit astonishing:

our findings could be viewed as evidence of how remarkably well equipped ordinary individuals are to discern which stances toward scientific information secure their personal interests.

What they are saying here is that social inclusion in their group is substantively more important to the individual’s best interest than the trivial effect any personal climate change action could have on their personal well-being.

5. Belief in free market economics predicts rejection of science

While we are at it, check out this story.

A strong belief in a hands off approach to economics is tightly linked to the rejection of scientific facts such as climate change, according to research published in Psychological Science in late March.

Moreover the same people tended to reject that HIV causes AIDS or that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer.


Those who rejected climate change appeared to be more accepting of conspiracy theories in general. Belief that the moon landing was actually staged on Earth, that the government allowed the 9/11 terrorist attacks occur so they could invade the Middle East, and other conspiracy theories predicted rejection of climate change.

Stephan Lewandowsky strikes again!

6. Garnaut recommends 17% target

Currently the Climate Change Authority, chaired be Bernie Fraser, is reviewing our CO2 reduction targets. I seems Garnaut is proposing a 17% reduction, that’s from 2000. Why? Because we can and because other countries, notably the US, are increasing their level of ambition. This may be news to Abbott’s mob, more likely they are choosing to ignore it.

The US are doing it without a carbon price. In Europe too it looks possible that they will increase their targets because of progress made, because others are acting and because they do not rely on the carbon price to do the work.

Of course the institutional structure supporting the Clean Energy Future package will be swept away by Abbott’s mob.

7. Arctic ocean acidifying

The Arctic Ocean is acidifying much more rapidly than previously thought.

The Arctic Ocean is particularly vulnerable to acidification due to the rivers that flow into it, each carrying growing amounts of carbon runoffs every year.

Scientists warned that the acidification of the Arctic Ocean has the potential to affect marine life in profound and as-yet-unknown ways, endangering the ecosystem by threatening its smallest components.

The situation is growing worse each year.

“Continued rapid change is a certainty,” AMAP study author Richard Bellerby told the BBC. “We have already passed critical thresholds. Even if we stop emissions now, acidification will last tens of thousands of years. It is a very big experiment.”

8. Algae found under the Arctic ice

Algae normally grows at the edge of the retreating ice and to some extent in open water in the Arctic. It has now been found growing plentifully under the first year ice with melt pools on the surface. Light is able to penetrate the ice allowing photosynthesis while UV is inhibited. Scientists are concerned that the ecological balance is being changed. For example, when the ice melts the algae sinks to the ocean floor, acting as a carbon sink. But bacteria feast on the algae, depleting the oxygen available to the sea floor community.

Scientists don’t know whether this phenomenon will continue, but:

If it continues proliferous growth, this particular kind of algae may deplete the nutrients available to the point that it starves itself, and other organisms. That threatens the food chain based around plankton, which support fish, seals, birds, whales, and even humans. Meanwhile heightened anoxic conditions could vastly alter the seabed, threatening clams and crustaceans, meaning in turn a threat to walruses and other creatures which feed on them.

There’s more detail available here. Also a slick of black gunk which had never been seen before and looked like oil turned out to be algae.

75 thoughts on “Climate clippings 75”

  1. Items 1 to 5 could have been a separate post, but it was too much trouble to change once I’d gotten that far.

    Of minor interest, on the front page of LP the wrong ‘featured image’ appears. I’ve tried to remove it and replace it, but it won’t go!

  2. Item 8 needs clarification.

    Algae have always grown under the ice, and are food for the krill. What this article is saying is that large blooms of algae are growing under the deepest parts of the ice where light does not penetrate (if I read the extract correctly)

    This comment from 2

    “The problem is that people think climate action means pain”

    gets my attention. Everything that I have studied and determined as a designer is that

    “Climate Action means Gain”

    That will become the slogan, and the reality, of Climate Action.

    It is in fact the lack of action that cements in loss, collapse and pain, in that order.

    The gains are huge. They include an at least 20% increase in the standard of living, coupled with very significant increases in the quality of living. Economic prosperity is also assured for an actively engaged community embracing the transition to renewable technology along with all of the supporting systems and hardware.

    As an aside here is a website I just found and will be using heavily

  3. On 3,4 &5, goodness me, here I am thinking we’ve come a long way from the middle ages and Medieval times. These studies seem to point to a cadre of ‘trial by ordeal’ and witch burners that still live among us but are expressed differently and a little more restrained.
    Monty Pythonesque ridicule is the only way to combat these people.

  4. Its the first sentence that shows the incompetence and estrangement from science. The concept of a scientific consensus is a radically anti-scientific concept.

  5. Thats right Harry.

    The concept of “consensus” is radically anti-scientician.

    I mean anti-scientology.

    I mean no it isn’t.

    Everybody knows a weak and childish ad hom attack like yours is a sign that you have nothing real to back up your opinion. So are you getting paid for your attempts to cast doubt on climate change or are you a useful idiot who’s doing it for free?

  6. Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change only 0.7% or 83 of those thousands of academic articles, disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, with the view of the remaining 2.2% unclear.

    That’s an interesting statement.

    I wonder what caused climate change for the other 4.54 billion years of earth’s existence?

  7. Well you are wrong jules. Bringing significance to consensus, over evidence, is a rebellion against science. This is radically anti-scientific behaviour. This behaviour shows a gestapo-like hatred for science.

  8. “Economic prosperity is also assured for an actively engaged community embracing the transition to renewable technology along with all of the supporting systems and hardware.”

    I would not be so assured as all that. Its not really about renewable versus non-renewable technologies though is it? Its about effective versus ineffective. What is notable is that we are always being diverted into ineffective investments, while effective renewables are soundly ridiculed. It is possible to pull electrical energy straight out of the ionosphere for example. But if people who aren’t interested in science go along with the ridicule of this notion, then its never getting off the ground. Uranium fission is safe but only under peacetime conditions. Not during war or under conditions of major natural disaster. Whereas Thorium fission can be made safe under any conditions.

    One of these is technically a renewable and the other one isn’t. But both could be good for us, depending on how policy was run to develop these ideas. So arbitrary characterisations like renewable and non-renewable really are not helpful.

  9. Bringing significance to consensus, over evidence, is a rebellion against science.

    Thats a meaningless statement. It doesn’t transmit signal, just noise.

    It appears you are suggesting that favouring a consensus attitude to something based on a presumed position rather than experimental evidence is unscientific. Thats true, in and of itself, tho it doesn’t apply to what Brian was referring to.

    Scientific consensus is what happens when a whole bunch of evidence supports an idea, or a theory or whatever. Scientific consensus exists about a number of issues, including gravity and evolution (and apparently anthropogenic global warming). Tho there may be differences of opinion around the mechanisms of the things, the consensus is that they exist and it is based on evidence.

    Which is the opposite of what you are suggesting.

    Your use of language shows a deeply ingrained radically anti scientific bias tho, with your preference for emotional (tho irrational and inaccurate) terms like “gestapo-like hatred” and “rebellion against science”. And for romantic ideas like the tower of power, (which is fascinating as was its inventor – if you know how to build one perhaps you should. In fact someone called Harry May-something once wrote some articles suggesting it has already been done somewhere in the outback.)

    Its not really about renewable versus non-renewable technologies though is it? Its about effective versus ineffective.

    True, its why we burn oil.

  10. “It appears you are suggesting that favouring a consensus attitude to something based on a presumed position rather than experimental evidence is unscientific. ”

    Who said anything about “experimental evidence”? We are talking about evidence as such. Not experimental evidence.

    Its simply jules. The whole idea of placing importance on scientific consensus, is a rebellion against science. It shows a loathing of science. Because science is about evidence. Not about consensus. Do you understand that jules? I don’t think you do. And I know for a fact that you cannot find evidence for this scientific fraud that you are supporting.

  11. “Scientific consensus is what happens when a whole bunch of evidence supports an idea, or a theory or whatever. Scientific consensus exists about a number of issues, including gravity and evolution ….”

    There is no meaningful scientific consensus on either these two subjects. Let us take gravity for example. Newton does not describe any mechanism for how gravity works. Rather we have formulae which unites gravity on earth, with the movement of large bodies in the solar system. When I say “unites” I mean he shows them to be the same phenomenon. But this is far short of giving us any meaningful mechanism for gravity, which explains its behaviour. Einsteins theory on gravity, like the rest of his work, is pure idiocy. So if you are saying that its Einsteins theory that represents the consensus, then this is another case in point where consensus can be shown to be a deeply anti-scientific idea.

  12. What the Kahan study is suggesting is that evidence won’t change the minds of the likes of duncanm and Harry M. Indeed, whatever evidence is proffered it will be used to strengthen their view.

    Harry, by using the term “fraud” has joined the conspiracy theorists.

  13. BilB @ 2, I’ve tweeked the text to try to tell the story better and added a couple of links from the linked article that might help. This article in particular explains that the stuff is proliferating under first year ice where there are melt pools on top. This allows penetration of sunlight while inhibiting UV, so conditions become ‘just right’ for that species of algae.

  14. BilB @ 2 and SG @ 3, it is rather depressing, but I guess according the Kahan and co you can’t count yourself exempt. That’s why I queried whether there was a threshold or tipping point in scientific literacy before which a little knowledge is dangerous.

    BilB, what I objected to was that climate action must be painless in principle as a necessary condition. If it costs we need to pay. We are not entitled to steal our children’s future.

    Also, as Paul Gilding says, going 100% renewable may be the easy part. Providing enough resources so that the whole population on the planet can live sustainably with dignity and fulfilment may be harder, and may require a change in basic value orientation.

  15. Harry May,

    I’ve got to wonder what it is that you do for a living? It certainly cannot be anything technical else you would not be able to hold the crazy ideas that you have.

    Anyone who works with a broad range of materials, and uses energy to transform those materials, confirms on a daily basis that the science behind climate change is real, and that materials, gasses and energy all perform exactly as climate scientists claim.

    I only need to go into the next door factory to witness the infra red properties of CO2. I heat materials and gasses to produce products and those processes provide to me the evidence that the claims of scientists are real and accurate. The evidence is all around us, we witness the processes of nature in microcosm in our work and in large scale in the environment and weather. Most of the work of science is to measure and quantify the these processes of nature.

    Science cannot “invent” an artificial climate reality, because we can all feel what is going on in our environment. I know that the CO2 level in the atmosphere is being measured at Mauna Loa because I’ve been there, seen the instruments and spoken with some of the people who perform the work. At the end of the day I sometimes have a soft drink in which CO2 is dissolved and I can taste the acidity in the water. I can even perform a basic measurement of the CO2 in my kitchen using sodium hydroxide. I don’t, but I could.

    In short I know that the science is real because I can and do verify much of this on a daily basis.

    I’d be keen to see your evidence that thousands of scientists are liars and cheats.

  16. No you are just being an idiot. Proven infra-red properties of CO2 do not logically or empirically translate into any warming of the globe. If they did of course we would be most fortunate.

  17. Nothing in your story shows you as being competent to make any sound logical inference. So you went to Mauna Loa, you looked at instruments and where is the rest of your story? Did you not wonder at their rank incompetence and fraud? Situating as they do their keystone measuring station next to the worlds largest volcano?

    Maybe scientific aptitude is innate. Because you don’t have it. Otherwise you wouldn’t be supporting this brazen fraud by way of this pathetic display of pseudo-argumentation.

  18. The Arctic Ocean acidifying is a real dog ate my homework story. Why no data? Why just the arctic? And why, by their own admission, did they screw up the rate in the first place? What is in fact the rate of acidification?

    When I used to read these reports they would never deliver with actual data of acidification. And with this latest story we have nothing to say if its just summer melting causing it because we have no start date or finish date.

  19. Thanks nottrampis. BTW I noticed last week you had my name as Banisch. It’s actually Bahnisch. No biggie as I’m used to being called all sorts of things.

    Paul, we’ve decided that Harry may be better off playing in an alternative universe, where he seems more at home.

  20. Roger Jones has a guest post up at his site on climate sensitivity, which narrows the range of uncertainty. I had several articles on the topic collected for this ediTion of climate clippings. It looks as though I should attempt a separate post.

    He also has an interesting post on why his site has been in mothballs for some months.

    I think someone in politics needs to think about creating a different cultural environment in which our universities could be freer to pursue what a university should be about, The current pressures seem counter-productive and tend to bring out the worst in human nature at times.

  21. I can’t imagine why Catallepsy would banned Harry, Paul – I would’ve thought he’d fit right in (abusive and fact-free).

    His signal-to-noise ratio is effectively 0.

  22. I thought he might be an avatar of Birdy. He’d certainly be at home at Birdy’s blog.

  23. Of course it’s Graeme.

    He’s kinda trying to hide it, but you can practically feel his fingers twitching over the C, U, N and T keys.

  24. I love the idea that there’s no consensus in science. I guess that means every time anyone writes an article on HIV prevention, elimination, treatment or vaccination they first have to present clear evidence that it causes AIDS. Otherwise they’d be engaging in (shock!) a logical fallacy …

    but before they do that, I guess they’d have to prove that viruses and germs cause disease at all, and it’s not just a surfeit of melancholy humours. That would make the introduction section quite long, but I guess that’s the price you have to pay to avoid (shock!) logical fallacies …

  25. You’re forgetting the miasma theory of disease there, faustusnotes. Shame on you!

  26. “I guess that means every time anyone writes an article on HIV prevention, elimination, treatment or vaccination they first have to present clear evidence that it causes AIDS. Otherwise they’d be engaging in (shock!) a logical fallacy …”

    We know for an absolute fact that the HIV virus cannot possibly cause AIDS symptoms. So yes, the rebellion against science has let your faith-based approach down there as well. This one is not even difficult to prove.

  27. So Harry May Crean-Satisficer Graeme, what about if someone wants to talk about the ongoing legacy of the Holocaust on Jewish culture?

    And what are your views on fluoridation of water?

    What about vaccination?


    Hell, let’s get down to it – what exactly are the illuminati planning for the Mars Pyramids?

  28. FDB @ 29,

    Oh no! Is he really an admirer of that notorious denier of “tide theory”, King Cnut?

    BTW, good post, Brian.

  29. That does look like a rather nasty Bird infestation you have there.

  30. We know for an absolute fact that the HIV virus cannot possibly cause AIDS symptoms.

    Oh noes! That sounds like a consensus (who is this we who know for an absolute fact???)

  31. Hmm. Interesting how far the cli-fi scam is unravelling now.

    Lastly, it is not only the Met Office that has claimed that the increase in global temperatures is statistically significant: the IPCC has as well. Moreover, the IPCC used the same statistical model as the Met Office, in its most-recent Assessment Report (2007). The Assessment Report discusses the choice of model in Volume I, Appendix 3.A. The Appendix correctly acknowledges that, concerning statistical significance, “the results depend on the statistical model used”.

    What justification does the Appendix give for choosing the trending autoregressive model? None. In other words, the model used by the IPCC is just adopted by proclamation. Science is supposed to be based on evidence and logic. The failure of the IPCC to present any evidence or logic to support its choice of model is a serious violation of basic scientific principles — indeed, it means that what the IPCC has done is not science.

    To conclude, the primary basis for global-warming alarmism is unfounded. The Met Office has been making false claims about the significance of climatic changes to Parliament—as well as to the government, the media, and others…

  32. Come now Ambi. Cnut was not a denier of the tide theory. He deserves a better press than that.

    He placed his throne at the tide’s edge to demonstrate to others who thought otherwise that there were limits to what man’s, and specifically in his case, kings’ powers were. He conducted a practical experiment on his hypothesis and through that experiment, as the tide rose, demonstrated the validity of the hypothesis, getting his feet wet in the process.

  33. “Oh noes! That sounds like a consensus ”

    No it doesn’t sound the consensus [redacted]. We know this for a fact because of the nature of the HIV virus, and the life-cycle of the T-cells it feeds off. Will you [redacted] get with the reality, that science has NOTHING to do with consensus? Science is opposed to the very idea of consensus.

    Science finds truth by means that have nothing to do with consensus.

    [please comply with comments policy and cut out the sockpuppetting ~ Mod]

  34. And yet, where agreement does exist across 97% of scientists (going on 98%), and this has been shown through research, it seems pretty stupid to deny it!

  35. [Comment content deleted (also further comments from same nym). Morphing/sockpuppeting is a breach of our comments policy. ~ mods]

  36. This is getting tiresome. They look at 11,994 scientific papers, find 4000 that address a particular issue and find that 97% of them agree on this issue. There’s no denial of evidence, reason and the scientific method.

  37. repeated without comment:

    I know that none of you can possibly understand what I’m saying.

    I actually did an alternative analysis of Lewandowsky’s data in which I disputed his finding that AGW denialists were also HIV denialists and moon landing conspiracy theorists. It’s a bit sad that I went to all the trouble of doing a (IMHO) proper exploratory factor analysis, only to find people like Crean-satisficer providing solid data points in favour of Lewandowsky’s findings. What’s a statistician to do?

  38. Oh Brian, get a grip on yourself. You well know that notes jotted on the back of an envelope are as good as publishing as is thinking out loud. Now that faustusnotes has placed his findings on LP (BlogscienceTM), they are well and truly published.

  39. And I am going to publish in that same manner and be ignored appropriately.

    So it seems that the new denialism (Fn1) is to say that average maximum temperature has not risen steadily then Global Warming is not real (Mk50 and a bunch of people I know [all Coalitionists]), on the one hand, and that if scientists agree then that is not scientific and the science is therefore false (a bunch of others).

    So lets squash these roaches.

    If you read the science properly it refers to the average overall temperature, not just the average peak temperature. The Earth’s surface is a very large complex system with a, due to its axis tilt and rotation around its energy source (the sun), variable energy supply distribution. Global warming is about the averaged heating in the zone that affects us.

    As the surface is four fifths water that heating involves heating the ocean surface temperatures. This puts moisture (humiditity) into the atmosphere. This process moderates the atmosphere’s actual temperature because the energy in the atmosphere is mostly in that moisture not so much in the air itself. Where the air temperature shows the heat build up it is in the average night time temperature, in the early morning where the temperature does not fall as quickly as it did in the past. This is mentioned in the IPCC information if you actually read it rather than scan looking for flaws.

    The moisture in the atmosphere is the clear and present danger as it is this that drives extreme weather. The more humidity in the air the more aggressive will be the storms. The US tornado was caused by 2 Global Warming forces. The increase humidity coming from the gulf and the increased volume of cold air coming from the arctic as its cooling accelerates. One observer comment that was not picked up on was that people in the area were not driven to install shelters as the tornadoes always tracked further north form where they hit this time.

    The consensus roach? I don’t expect anyone to agree with anything that I have written here. That makes it good science and correct, by that principle.

    Fn1 I am going to term this as “roachism” favouring an observation by Paul Mcdermott to the comment made of John Howard calling him a “miserable moral cockroach” , Mcdermott responds “because as you know, if there is one of them running around there are at least 50 more hiding behind the refrigerator”. And that is pretty much the case with this type of denialism/………roachism.

  40. “Published” was probably the wrong word and I can understand some sensitivities about that. “Posted” my have been better. If fn has done some analysis I’m interested where he has laid out what he did, whether in a post or an article or whatever.

    There could have been a genuine debate about ‘consensus’ and science, but we haven’t had one on this thread.

  41. But science recognises no consensus on any of these subjects.

    Personally speaking, I dislike the ‘consensus’ formulation because there is a point here: consensus per se is not a guiding principle of scientific practice. But it is not very far off – resolving disputes is</characteristic of science.

    Sometimes in the history of science we can see ‘false’ consensus arising because there isn’t sufficiently good data to resolve the dispute (Ptolemaic/Keplerian astronomy), or because the dispute itself hasn’t been sufficiently articulated (Newtonian/Relativity).

    Once a dispute has been articulated, addressed and broad agreement reached, it is a rather different situation. It is still not certain, because nothing is, but instead finds a point on the continuum of reliability.

    This is a major error about science that people who dispute ‘consensus’ or ‘settled science’ make: the idea that because nothing is certain, everything is equally up for grabs. This is what is unscientific. No ‘theory’ in science is inviolable but the more settled the dispute is, the better the evidence you need to have to reopen it.

    Given that the ‘evidence’ that the contrarians (to use the politest possible description) proffer tends to be either
    a) indications that there are things that we don’t know well enough about climate science (TOA fluxes, deep ocean warming, tropical hotspot) without being specifically problems with the mainstream climatology on recent warming; or
    b) speculative analyses without any robustness
    they time and time again fail to come anywhere close to this standard of evidence.

  42. Martin B, that’s more like it. I’ve just checked my Oxford Australian dictionary which gives two meanings for consensus.

    1a general agreement (of opinion, testimony etc.) b an instance of this 2 majority view, collective opinion

    The notion that there can’t be general agreement or a majority view in science seems to me self-evident nonsense.

    But science itself is inherently sceptical, or so it seems to me.

  43. The notion that there can’t be general agreement or a majority view in science seems to me self-evident nonsense.

    Absolutely, although I guess the point is that it is a symptom of the underlying science rather than productive of it.

  44. @39 “Science finds truth by means that have nothing to do with consensus.”

    Truth is the other misunderstood part in this equation and as such a reliable indicator for contrarianism. What contrarians refer to as truth is invariably a subjective truth, a reality based on their experiences and knowledge which makes perfect sense to them – it works for them!

    Very rarely they venture into deductive truth which involves logic. While almost non have an inkling on inductive truth, as in science, which is based on reliability and validity.

    Wouldn’t it be better communication if we would insist on probability rather than truth? Thus, allow AGW to become a risk management issue, with defined vulnerabilities of stakeholders and obligations of risk-owners, rather than just more “roach” squashing and “Hanna’s ball game”.

    It has been a long and painful struggle for science to rise from this cognitive quagmire, separating out subjective experience from inductive methodology. Any attempt to reunite them in the public understanding of science needs immediate attention.

    Operating as it should, science doesn’t spend its time just making truth claims about the world, nor does it question the validity of subject experience – it simply says it’s not enough to make object claims that anyone else should believe.

    Subjective truths and scientific truths are different creatures, and while they sometimes play nicely together, their offspring are not always fertile.

    So next time you are talking about truth in a deductive or scientifically inductive way and someone says “but whose truths”, tell them a hard one: it’s not all about them.

    And what Martin B said.

  45. Brian, the post is here, my blog’s one excursion into the climate debate and one I will never repeat. The post was actually a peace offering to the folks at Climate Audit – I was commenting critically there about their inability to reproduce Lewandowsky’s work and his accusations of fraud, and in return his commenters started putting up pictures of me and my family, so I offered to show my own version of the analysis with code if they would take down the pictures. CA being unable to do the right thing without incentive, the above post is the result. It’s a very standard exploratory factor analysis. Interestingly, some internet guy called A. Scott repeated the data collection of Lewandowsky’s on WUWT, but no one has ever analyzed the data and they are refusing to release it to me to repeat my analysis.

    I wonder why?

    Since I discovered how savage the denialosphere can be, I’ve decided not to involve myself in those debates anymore, and if this comment and that post attract any more flak, that post is coming down too. I try not to censor my own blog, but the behavior of some people online is genuinely disturbing.

    I guess most of the people running LP know that already though …

  46. Art Markman, in a Huff Post Science blog post, makes my point @53 rather more elegantly and in context of Lewandowsky’s latest offering.

    This research is important is because it has implications for how to deal with the use of science in public settings. There are many settings in which data should be used to help public policy. For example, vaccines have helped virtually eliminate a number of deadly childhood diseases. There is good scientific evidence for why vaccines work and why they should be mandatory.

    Of course, for any public policy, there are some people who reject the policy and the underlying science that led to it.

    A natural reaction for those in favor of the policy is to assume that people simply do not understand the science. And so, the obvious response is to describe the science more carefully and in more venues.

    If people are engaging in motivated reasoning, however, then just describing the science again in more careful detail is unlikely to change anyone’s opinion. Instead, it is important to understand the cluster of beliefs that are leading to the motivated reasoning and to address those instead.

    For those people who oppose climate change on the basis of beliefs about the free-market, it would be better to engage in a discussion about the economic costs of rising temperatures. For example, debate could focus on the impact of recent extreme weather patterns on business and agriculture. This debate might help to reduce the strength of the opposition to regulations on pollution, which might then influence people’s beliefs about climate change.

  47. Winning? Losing?

    We all have lost. The question is how much and how soon?

    The other question is what are the consequences?

    I was pondering that this morning and it occurred to me that at this stage in the planet’s evolution it is probably the time for the insects to rise. Humans have set off a very effective mass extinction of species. With us will go every large mammal on the planet, and quite possibly in the extremely short geological period of just several hundred years. This will leave the rats, mice, crocodiles, and snakes in charge of the planet. But possibly too the insects. Actually scratch the crocodiles, they need larger food than is likely to survive. Add the noisy minors and crows (though lack of road kill will thin the crow numbers).

    So I asked my wife what are the “nice” insects that we would like to pass our heritage onto. She joined the game with butterflies and lady bird bugs. I thought jumping spiders and bees. I’m sure that scientists would say fruit flies as they are genetically closest to us,…we are told. So what does a really big really smart fruit fly look like, and can you see yourself as one (reincarnate)?

  48. Hmmm, I can’t see any of those guys (girls) sitting around the pool sipping pina kaladas.

    Maybe I’m glad I won’t be there.

    ….and the whole Alien life form model leaves me cold as well.

    Perhaps we should work harder protecting what we have now!

  49. Bilb, in so many ways our situation looks extremely interesting and one can say with increased confidence, that we are looking at the end of humanity, as we know it. On the geological times scale we already have left our unique nuclear marker, recording our existence for the remaining time of this planet. It all happened in a very short time though, where we have genetically transformed life and it’s substrate in just about every habitable corner of Earth and as humans we have transformed ourselves into Übermensch. Change appears now to be pervasive and escalating from generation to generation. AGW and our reaction to it is just a manifestation of the overall scale and speed of change.

    The problem is, we hardly have time to recognise and learn from the consequences of the often complex interaction between changes which are occurring, so in effect we are flying this massive experiment blind. No one is really in charge anymore, the horse has bolted and as humanity we arrived on terra nemo. Thus, it is fair to say, that there is a high probability for some cataclysm or metamorphosis to occur, not just on a physical or biological level, it will manifest itself mainly on a human level. Are we/you prepared?

    “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings ….”
    Often attributed to Lao Tzu

  50. Ootz

    “Change appears now to be pervasive and escalating from generation to generation”

    That is a very astute observation, Ootz. Change has variously viscous layers. The substrate is the earth and the most viscous layer is the infrastructure that we paste to it like barnacles on a hull. Around this layer our lives flow creating change in various ways and with variable consequences, the rate of that change determining a viscosity. The most vacuous level being the chatter, I thought politics but actually politics forms an inversion layer to change, a barrier. That is as far as I have gone.

  51. Doh!, it’s not co2 but CFCs after all.
    And we’re getting rid of those already without a tax.
    That’s a good thing, right?
    Sighs of relief all-round

  52. What do people think of the Beck CO2 track record? I heard some criticism of it, but I’m having trouble finding an alternative.

  53. I think that skepticism all around is more like it, Jumpy.

    For starters the Ozone holes have reduced global warming by allowing more energy to escape into space. Healing them will will reverse that.

    Secondly cfc’s have concentrations in the parts per trillion and shorter residency times in the atmosphere.

    I think that I will wait for the global science body verdict on this one. Not holding my breath.

  54. What are you on about Harry May. Have you just discovered that CO2 levels vary depending on where you are?

    In the late seventies I had occasion to spend a lot of time on the roof of Centre Point Tower. On a clear still morning you can see the exhaust fumes rising in the valleys all around Sydney as people get into their cars to drive to work. The rise in local CO2 levels would be measurable on an hourly basis. All around the globe CO2 is being suck in and blown out. In the 80’s there was the big hunt on to find out where 4 billion tons of CO2 was disappearing to from the atmosphere. There is variability.

    Finding a way to present a graph differently will not change the reality of what is happening in the oceans, poles and atmosphere. I think that you are falling prey to the pseudo publication houses.

  55. Harry,

    You’ve learnt a new word, that is plain to see. As you think you have the answer, present it. I had a look at a few “reconstructions” and they were all careful to pick their start and end dates to best support their point. What have you got to support your new idea, and can it put the glaciers back?

  56. Hey Jumpy, Qing-Bin Lu’s been banging on about CFCs for years without any physical cause for why the greenhouse effect for CFCs should be so much stronger than CO2.

    Check out figure 2 here:

    Compare the size of the radiation peak for CO2 with the peak for CFCs (actually the CFC peaks are barely visible). And Lu wants us to believe that the evidence from his correlation is better than a direct measurement…

  57. Re #61 and #69. Will you please get your socks straightened out Harry/Alfred/ insert string of socks here.
    @72: And BTW, you should learn when to use “than” & “then”. Then you won’t look so foolish when you call others “moron”, moron.

  58. Harry,

    The global CO2 concentration history has been derived from a large variety of sources by an army of researchers from a large number of universities and organisations. From memory the ice core data is supported by fossil data and tree ring data in a variety of locations. As you’ve raised the point I will have a look to see how broad that data source field is . You seem to have decided that the science body base their conclusions on one evidence stream, that is not my recollection of it at all.

  59. for the record: i am most emphatically not Harry May or Alfred Jay Knock. there is only one alfred venison & he doesn’t call for co2 reconstructions. -alfred venison

  60. BilB @66, there’s also a range of reasons, rooted in the political economy of the respective issues, that explain why it’s been much easier politically to get effective action on ozone-depleting substances than it has been to get effective action on carbon emissions.

  61. Nor is AV a smart Alec exhibitionist bear trap ambushing user of half baked denialist notions for bait.

    I think Harry May’s take on Global Warming is covered in items 3 and 4 above as the Hierachial Individualist but with an agressive need to acgieve acceptance by a group through combat. Knowledge can be a powerful weapon, and it seems that the denialist path continues to attempt to discredit good science with confused scientific argument.

    Examining the HM incident the real issues seem to include

    demographic imperialism
    conditioned thinking
    ability to perceive the importance of large issues
    self interest
    having the means to react to a slowly developing threat

    All of these factors (and many many more) need to be understood and managed for Global Warming Action to be effective.

    In microcosm I can see all of the elements of the Climate Change danger other than the short term of the event in the Bangladeshi factory collapse.

  62. Seriously folks, if you don’t already know Bird (Harry May etc), then for the love of God revel in your ignorance. Run, don’t walk.

    He used to be funny AND a dangerous lunatic, but he’s dropped the funny.

  63. After his last three posts, and especially his last one, I am firming in my belief that Harry May is Birdy.

Comments are closed.